Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Academia is sort of like high school. Only it lasts the rest of your life.

Younger grad students have, from time to time, asked me what it's like to submit a paper to a peer-reviewed journal. I find that it's actually quite difficult to sum up in a glib sentence or two the rich emotional roller-coaster that makes up the grindingly brutal article publication process. Nevertheless, the submission of a paper has a rather appropriate analogy.*

Submitting an article to a peer-reviewed journal feels a lot like the moment immediately after you ask a girl out. On the one hand, you're elated, full of the hope that she will say yes. I mean, she's smart, she's interesting to be around, she has such well-proportioned margins and smart pagination- who wouldn't want to go out with that journal? At the same time, however, there's that sudden gut-wrenching feeling of terror where the back of your brain screams, "Oh shit! What did I just do?!!?" You have visions of how you sounded stupid when you asked the question, wonder if your footnotes are formatted properly, and cringe at the possible scathing rejection you might receive at her hands. And you stand there, swamped by that intense mix of emotions and wait for her to respond...

For three months.**

Don't worry, after a while, you get used to it.

* I apologize, in advance, for the fact that this analogy is pitched from a male perspective. I leave it to a helpful reader to provide the female version.

** I exaggerate, of course. You only get a response in three months if you're lucky. My first submission took over nine months before I received a reply. I find it a little absurd that it took as long for a few of my colleagues to review my paper as it takes the average woman to manufacture an entirely new human being.

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Blogger TDEC said...

Easy - the two days after you give someone your number, during which they may, or may not, call you.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 5:43:00 AM  
Blogger kristina b said...

Oh Drek. You're hilarious :) Thanks for the smile!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 8:51:00 AM  

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